I want another Zelda game.
Okay, so there are a lot of things I want from Nintendo these days, but that’s an editorial for another day. The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite videogame series. This is part of the reason why Nintendo’s actions of late have pained me so grievously. While they’re busy pandering to all the
suckers “casual gamers,” my favorite game series is being neglected… and as a result, so am I.
“But Riddles, how can you say that? They just announced a new Zelda game at teh GDC!”
Yes. I know this. What was it called again… (wow, I can’t even remember…)
Oh, that’s right. Spirit Tracks. As you can tell, I’m ALL kinds of excited for that. After all, I’ve always wanted to play a Zelda game in which I could “explore” the world on a set of predetermined TRAIN TRACKS. Gee, Nintendo… rely on gimmicks much?
Rhetorical question of course; cheap, attractive gimmicks pretty much describe Nintendo’s business model these days. Even Phantom Hourglass, which I enjoyed, fell victim to this. The stylus controls worked, and were occasionally fun to play with, but they greatly oversimplified the traditional Zelda control scheme, making the gameplay (particularly the combat) feel rather cheap and unrewarding. And don’t even get me STARTED on blatant gimmicks such as the candle blowing and “map pressing.” (Or whatever the hell it was when the game made you close and re-open the DS.) In my eyes, there was no “innovation” found in Phantom Hourglass; just a lot of dumbing down.
The last satisfactory Zelda title we received was Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess was a technically flawless Zelda title that tried a little too hard to be Ocarina of Time 2, but in any case, it’s a much better example of what I want from Nintendo than Spirit Tracks.
Remember Nintendo’s E3 2008 Press Conference? (You should, it was quite the exercise in tragic hilarity.) The only thing I took away from that trainwreck was Satoru Iwata’s promise that the Zelda and Mario teams were “hard at work” on games for the Wii. But to be frank, I wonder if they’ve even given the slightest thought to the next console Zelda title, because God knows they don’t need to. People like me now represent a negligible minority in their fanbase. All we get are empty promises and gnawed-on bones in the form of Link’s Choo-Choo Conducting Adventure.